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Monday, November 19, 2012

Last week at The Fonecast: 19th November 2012

Confusion by numbers

Mark Bridge writes:

The last few days have been particularly busy for UK telecoms regulator Ofcom. It started the week by announcing its rules for next year’s UK 4G mobile spectrum auction – expect services to go live in around six months – and it ended the week with plans to avoid a 5G capacity crunch.

Meanwhile Three UK revealed that its DC-HSDPA 3G services (which it had originally described as 4G, but let’s not talk about that now) were hitting the same kind of speeds as 4G customers have been enjoying.

Confusing for consumers?  Perhaps, although no more confusing than Nokia’s new maps business. Taking a tip from the Book of Really Literal Company Names (last seen on the shelf at Everything Everywhere) the Finnish company has rebranded its mapping and location business unit as HERE. Already on the cards is a free HTML5-based HERE maps application for iOS.

Also last week we learned that BlackBerry 10 would launch on 30th January 2013, which means the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be available on… oh, hang on, we don’t know yet. Probably no later than the end of Mobile World Congress in February, if RIM has any sense.

In addition, RIM added voice calling to its BBM instant messaging service; effectively VoIP via WiFi. Rather reminiscent of Microsoft’s Live Messenger announcement from last week.

Vodafone UK announced a smartphone leasing deal, Telefonica launched a mobile-based footfall tracking service for businesses and Tradedoubler brought affiliate marketing to mobile applications.

Meanwhile, research told us that wireless power for mobile devices would be worth over £3 billion by 2020, mobile accessories would be worth £39 billion by 2017 and mobile coupon use was expected to rise by 30% next year.

Finally, as patent-related legal battles rage around the world, there’s news of a settlement. Apple and HTC have agreed to dismiss all current lawsuits and have put a ten-year license agreement in place to cover current and future patents. Could this be the shape of things to come throughout the mobile industry?

Probably not. But It would be nice to think so.

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Author: The Fonecast
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